North Carolina Rental Agreement

Last Updated: October 24, 2023 by Roberto Valenzuela

A North Carolina rental agreement is a legal contract between a landlord and a tenant to rent a property. North Carolina landlord-tenant law governs these agreements.

North Carolina Rental Agreement Types

12 pages
Residential Lease Agreement

A North Carolina residential lease agreement is a legal contract for a tenant to rent a residential property from a landlord, subject to terms and conditions agreed by all parties.

8 pages
Month-to-Month Rental Agreement

A North Carolina month-to-month lease agreement is a contract (written or oral) where a tenant rents property from a landlord. The full rental term is one month, renewable on a month-to-month basis.

3 pages
Rental Application Form

North Carolina landlords may use a rental application form to screen prospective tenants. A rental application collects information relating to finances, rental history, and past evictions.

7 pages
Residential Sublease Agreement

A North Carolina sublease agreement is a legal contract where a tenant rents property to a new tenant, usually with the landlord’s permission.

9 pages
Roommate Agreement

A North Carolina roommate agreement is a legal contract between two or more people who share a rental property according to rules they set, including for things like splitting the rent. This agreement binds the co-tenants living together, and doesn’t include the landlord.

8 pages
Commercial Lease Agreement

A North Carolina commercial lease agreement is a legal contract arranging the rental of commercial space between a landlord and a business.

Common Rental Agreements in North Carolina

North Carolina Required Residential Lease Disclosures

  • Late Fee Disclosure – North Carolina requires all late fees to be disclosed and agreed in the lease. They may not exceed $15 or 5% of the balance due (whichever is greater), or $4 or 5% of the balance (whichever is greater).
  • Security Deposit Disclosure – North Carolina requires disclosure of the holding institution and account details (such as license and federal insurance) when a landlord collects a security deposit. The tenant must receive this information within 30 days of a lease beginning.
  • Water Contamination Disclosure – North Carolina requires notice of any known contaminants above state guidelines when landlords charge tenants for water or sewage utilities.
  • Lead Based Paint Disclosure – For any property built before 1978, federal law requires that a North Carolina residential lease must contain a lead-based paint disclosure with an EPA informational pamphlet, plus notice of any lead hazards on the property.

To learn more about required disclosures in North Carolina, click here.

Some North Carolina cities, like Charlotte and Raleigh, have more comprehensive rules than the statewide standard. Always check local laws.

North Carolina Landlord Tenant Laws

  • Warranty of Habitability – North Carolina landlords must provide certain features essential to basic health and safety. This includes things like heat, plumbing, electricity, and sound structural elements. Landlords must repair any issues within a “reasonable” time of proper notice from the tenant. Failure to repair lets a tenant sue the landlord or terminate the lease. Tenants in North Carolina aren’t allowed to repair and deduct, or withhold rent.
  • Evictions – North Carolina landlords may evict for rent default, lease violations, or illegal acts, among other things. Before filing eviction, landlords must serve tenants with prior notice to pay or quit, depending on the eviction type. This means most evictions in North Carolina take between one to two weeks.
  • Security Deposits – North Carolina landlords must return any security deposit within 30 days of lease termination. The state sets a maximum cap on security deposits, depending on the type of tenancy:
    • Week-To-Week: Two weeks’ rent.
    • Month-To-Month: One and one-half months’ rent.
    • Fixed Term, Over One Month: Two months’ rent.
  • Lease Termination – North Carolina maintains different termination notification standards for periodic leases:
    • Week-To-Week: Two days.
    • Month-To-Month: Seven days.
    • Fixed Term, One Year or More: One month. A fixed-term lease may also terminate early due to active military duty, landlord harassment, uninhabitable property, domestic abuse, or an agreement between the landlord and tenant.
  • Rent Increases and Fees – North Carolina doesn’t set a cap on rent increases, or require advance notice before an increase. Month-to-month late rent fees cannot exceed the greater of $15 or 5% of the rent, and week-to-week late rent fees cannot exceed the greater of $4 or 5% of the rent. Bounced check fees are capped at $25.
  • Landlord Entry – North Carolina doesn’t have a specific law about landlord entry. This means if the lease doesn’t set an entry policy otherwise, a landlord can enter at reasonable times for purposes such as repairs and inspections.
  • Settling Legal Disputes – North Carolina allows landlord-tenant disputes in small claims court as long as the amount in controversy does not exceed $10,000. Unlike many states, North Carolina allows evictions in small claims.

To learn more about landlord tenant laws in North Carolina, click here.